Care and Caring. Can There Be a Theory and Research Agenda?

I’ve just returned from the University of Vienna, where some of the leading European researchers and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines participated in a fascinating three day ‘ethnographic laboratory’, or research workshop, on ‘Practices of Care’. The workshop was an initiative of Prof Tatjana Thelen and a number of her Vienna colleagues. It was an exciting experience and a great honour to be invited as one of the international experts, along with Professor Joan Tronto from the USA, clearly one of the landmark thinkers in this field.

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Photo: Syrian Refugees in Vienna, Josh Zakary. CC BY-NC 2.0

The presentations and discussions included a number of papers on aged care – but extended well beyond that to consider care in its various manifestations: from care of young children and people with disabilities, to care as a communal concern in the villages of Eastern Europe, on the streets of Paris and in the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Continue reading